A documentary short film by Jason Cohen


Matt & Tim

We all come to the topic of forgiveness with different understandings, experiences and responses to it. For some, forgiveness may elicit uncomfortable religious associations, for others an expectation that they should forgive when they feel they cannot or it feels unsafe to do so. Still others may have difficulty with the word forgiveness itself and prefer to use different terms, such as letting go, moving on or finding peace. It’s important to acknowledge that forgiveness may be a challenging subject to discuss and to allow room for differing views of and responses to forgiveness to be part of the conversation.

Here is one definition from the Greater Good Science Center:

Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.

Just as important as defining what forgiveness is, though, is understanding what forgiveness is not. Experts who study or teach forgiveness make clear that when you forgive, you do not gloss over or deny the seriousness of an offense against you. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses. Though forgiveness can help repair a damaged relationship, it doesn’t obligate you to reconcile with the person who harmed you, or release them from legal accountability.


Letting Go Practice
This interactive practice is designed to help you think about, name and release a hurt, thought, injury or issue in your life.

The Forgiveness Toolbox
This skills-based toolbox is designed to enable individuals and groups to transform the impact of harm and violence and nurture peaceful co-existence.

Love | Forgiveness | Compassion Conversation Cards
Each of the 52 cards provides a quote to ponder, questions to discuss, and a suggested action for incorporating love, forgiveness, and compassion in your life. English and Spanish versions of the cards are downloadable or may be ordered, at no charge, while supplies last.

Learn more:

  • Greater Good Science Center
  • The Forgiveness Project
  • Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge
  • The Fetzer Institute
  • facebook twitter